Commitment to Service and Results
Creating Jobs in the Valley
Congressman Tony Cárdenas is committed to finding ways to attract businesses to open up shop in the Valley and train our workforce for the next generation of jobs. He is working to find opportunities to bring more manufacturing jobs to the Valley. As we work to rebuild our economy, the Congressman is also fighting to support the entertainment industry, which has long been a backbone of our local economy, and emerging sectors, such as health care and renewable energy. In addition to working to promote business development, the Congressman is making sure that workers have the opportunity to compete for jobs. This is why he introduced bipartisan legislation to help the long-term unemployed be more mobile and able to use their unemployment benefits to relocate to a new job.
- Make It In America
Shortly after being sworn in, Congressman Cárdenas signed on to the House Democrats’ Make It In America plan, which is a comprehensive plan to keep jobs in America and to support the next generation of job creation. The plan focuses on creating the best conditions for American businesses to manufacture products, innovate, and create jobs right here in the U.S.President Obama has signed 10 Make It In America bills into law, many of which had bipartisan support. Leaders in business and labor alike support Make It In America, because it will set us on a solid path forward to a future of greater competitiveness, more jobs, and long-term economic success.
- Workforce Training
We live in a global economy, which requires our workforce to have the most up-to-date skills to compete. Job training is a priority for Congressman Cárdenas. Our schools should train students for careers in science, technology, engineering and mathematics, while also focusing on job training programs in emerging sectors. This is why the Congressman has introduced legislation to include Computer Science in the core classes for STEM education and introduced legislation to treat coding as a foreign language with a separate pool of funds to teach our youth how to code.
Congressman Cárdenas is dedicated to promoting entrepreneurs and small business owners, allowing them to grow their ideas. As a former small business owner, he understands the challenges in starting a new business. By creating a healthy business environment and finding different grants and organizations to help build small businesses, we will grow Valley-owned businesses that employ workers that live in the San Fernando Valley.
Paying our Nation’s Bills
Congressman Cárdenas believes in a balanced approach to our debt and deficit. This means investing in the middle class, making smart, targeted reductions in spending, closing tax loopholes and reducing subsidies to profitable industries.
While Republicans use the example of American families sitting around their kitchen table to explain our national budget, they focus on cuts without looking at what services will be lost. Congressman Cárdenas does not look at budgets in the same way, because no American family is the lender of last resort for other nations. We are not a family around the kitchen table. We are the largest economy in the world. The decisions we make have global implications. This is why we must be strategic in deciding our priorities and getting our fiscal house in order.
Congressman Cárdenas served as Chair of the California State Assembly Budget Committee and Los Angeles City Council Budget Committee, balancing the California budget for the first time in decades. The Congressman brings this experience to our Nation’s Capitol as a Member of the House Budget Committee.
Reforming Our Juvenile Justice System and Reducing Crime
As a child growing up in Pacoima, Congressman Cárdenas saw firsthand the effects gangs have on our community. Having that background, he has made gang prevention and juvenile justice a top priority, with a proven track record of enacting legislation to keep our kids safe.
This problem in our community cannot be alleviated by sending out more police officers and arresting more juveniles; we need to stop this problem before it starts. Throughout his career, Congressman Cárdenas has met with police officers, community leaders and justice officials to develop the nation’s first comprehensive “Community-Based Gang Intervention Model.” This model laid out a new way for the city to combat gang violence without always resorting to arrests and has been implemented in cities throughout the country. The Congressman has introduced legislation based on this model for the federal level.
In 2000, as a California State Assemblyman, Congressman Cárdenas co-authored and passed AB 1913, the Schiff-Cárdenas Juvenile Justice Crime Prevention Act, which has provided local communities with approximately $120 million per year, the single, largest appropriation of state funds for youth crime prevention in the history of the United States. This bill was designed to counter-balance rising incarceration costs and has provided over a billion dollars for youth development services and programming helping to drastically reduce juvenile crime throughout the state of California.
These gang prevention and intervention services are needed in every community. Congressman Cárdenas will work to ensure that they are provided.
Fair, Balanced Comprehensive Immigration Reform
Our country has always been a nation of immigrants and the current system is in desperate need of reform. Eleven million people currently work and raise families in our communities without the possibility of one day becoming citizens of the United States. Now that bipartisan legislation has passed the Senate, we have finally begun to carve out a pathway to citizenship for undocumented immigrants and create common sense solutions to fix our broken immigration system.
Congressman Cárdenas believes the first challenge to reforming our broken immigration system is creating a path to citizenship for those who are already here, while not encouraging further unauthorized border crossings. We must strengthen our borders and develop a strategy for achieving and maintaining effective security in our border communities. We also must reform our guest worker program. We have to protect farm workers who provide the fruit and vegetables we eat every day. Congressman Cárdenas also refuses to weaken the modest requirements in the current H-2A program.
Ensuring Access to Healthcare
In 2010, President Obama signed the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act into law. This law, often called “Obamacare,” is the strongest, most robust improvement made in our nation’s healthcare system since Medicare was passed in 1965. More than 40 million Americans will finally have the opportunity to purchase affordable health insurance coverage.
Congressman Cárdenas is working with the Obama Administration to provide resources to hospitals, small business owners and families in the San Fernando Valley, to make sure everyone understands the opportunities in the new law, as well as the potential costs.
Congressman Cárdenas has held dozens of forums throughout the 29th Congressional District to help educate the community on the benefits of the Affordable Care Act and how to sign up.
Stopping Animal Cruelty
Congressman Cárdenas knows well, cruelty to animals is closely linked to cruelty to humans. That is why, as a member of the City Council, the Congressman extended his gang-prevention initiatives to include Los Angeles’ first Animal Cruelty Task Force. Since its formation in 2005, the Task Force has had 31 felony and 14 misdemeanor arrests for animal cruelty. The Task Force’s first arrest was of a known gang member, who received 3 years in prison for the abuse of a family pet. The goal of the Task Force is the break the connection between violence towards animals and violence towards people, speaking for the silent victims of gang activities.
In the City Council, Congressman Cárdenas spearheaded the city’s mandatory spay/neuter law, which greatly reduced the number of stray animals on the streets. The spay-neuter program has also greatly lessened the burden on local animal shelters. He also helped pass legislation to reduce the amount of roosters legally kept in a home to one only, cracking down on illegal cockfighting and was instrumental in creating reforms on the anti-freeze market to require that a bitter flavor be added to the liquid, cutting way back on the accidental poisoning of animals and children.
In Congress, the Congressman has continued to fight for animal welfare. He has been outspoken against efforts in the recent Farm Bill to repeal state and local animal welfare protections by Rep. Steve King (R-IA). Having worked in state and local government, Congressman Cárdenas knows the importance of these local initiatives to move national policy.